Fort Lauderdale, FL, December 7, 2017 – The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida announced today the appointment of Joseph P. Cox as the next President and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. Joe Cox will replace Kim Cavendish, the long-time President and CEO of the Museum who is retiring after 30 years of service. Mr. Cox will assume the position on February 1, 2018.
Ken Stiles, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Discovery and Science, said, “After a rigorous search, the Board concluded that Joe’s strong track record leading successful museums, driving strategic plans, developing creative programming, building strategic museum partnerships and his passion for science education made him the ideal candidate for the role.”
Jon Ferrando, Vice Chair of the Museum and Co-Chair of the CEO Search Committee, said, “Joe’s lifelong dedication to museums, his ability to build relationships in the community, and his track record of fundraising to support museum growth will all serve the Museum of Discovery and Science well in the future. We are excited Joe will be joining the Museum as its next President and CEO, and we look forward to welcoming him into the community. We also thank Kim Cavendish for her long-term outstanding service as President and CEO of MODS, and wish her all the best in retirement.”
Mr. Cox is currently President of the EcoTarium Museum of Science & Nature in Massachusetts, New England’s leading museum of science and nature, where he has served since 2012. During Mr. Cox’s tenure, the EcoTarium’s attendance and membership increased almost 30%, multiple new exhibits were opened, and Mr. Cox successfully led campaigns to raise over $16 million for the EcoTarium. From 2004-2012, Mr. Cox served as Executive Director of the Golisano Children’s Museum in Naples, Florida. Mr. Cox led the fundraising, design and construction of the $25 million 30,000 square foot Children’s Museum with a STEM focus. Previously, he served as a Naturalist (1996-2000) and later Center Director (2000-2004) for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center in Naples. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from St. Mary’s University in London, and a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from University of Leicester. He also attended the Getty Museum Leadership Institute in 2008 and the Smithsonian Institute Fellowship in Museum Practice in 1999-2000.
Cox said, “I’m absolutely honored to join the Museum of Discovery and Science and its talented team at such a pivotal time. I am excited to join the South Florida community and look forward to sharing my passion for science, nature and education with Museum employees, volunteers, guests, donors, community leaders, and all of the other important Museum stakeholders. As MODS celebrates its 25th anniversary of providing lifelong learning in science for children and adults, it is time to celebrate the past and plan for the future together.”
Ms. Cavendish stated, “I’m delighted to welcome Joe Cox to the community and to turn over the reins to him. His successful museum executive experience combined with a background in environmental science, a key component of the Museum’s programs and exhibits, will position him well to take on the leadership of MODS. I’d like to thank the Board of Trustees for its support during my service at the Museum. I am also grateful for the opportunity I had over the years to work with my senior management team and all of the dedicated Museum staff.”
“We thank Kim Cavendish for her tremendous service to the Museum of Discovery and Science as President and CEO,” added Mr. Stiles. “During her tenure, the Museum has grown from its modest roots as the Discovery Center in the 1970’s to the major science center we know today. With the addition of the $25 million EcoDiscovery Center in 2011 and the opening of the new Science Park in 2018, which was supported by an additional $10 million capital campaign, Kim brought the museum successfully into the new century.”
Keith Koenig, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and CEO Search Committee member, said, “I appreciated the support and work of the CEO Search Committee in partnership with Diversified Search to successfully execute a national search for the new Museum CEO. We had tremendous interest in the role and great candidates, which speaks well of both the Museum and the South Florida community that it serves. We are very pleased that Joe Cox will be joining the Museum as the next President and CEO, and we look forward to welcoming him into the community. I also thank Kim for her outstanding service and wish her the best in the future.”
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE
The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility serves approximately 400,000 visitors annually. Major operational support for the Museum is provided through generous support by Leadership Guild members including: JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Jet Blue and Wells Fargo.
The Museum is open seven days a week, 365 days a year; Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information about the Museum, visitors should call 954.467.MODS (6637) or visit our web site at www.mods.org
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